Helping the environment is a high priority for many individuals in the United States, as is paying less for energy bills. Solar panels are a game-changer for households nationwide, and more than 4 percent of homes now have rooftop solar panel installations for their power needs. Purchasing the best solar panels is an excellent way to harvest energy without harming nature.
You need more than just getting the right solar panels to keep the lights on without relying on the major power companies. Knowing the best angle for solar panels for your home is essential to make your investment worthwhile.
The good news is that you’ve found the perfect guide to learning more about where to place solar panels and the optimal solar panel angle for efficient energy collection. Keep reading to find the best orientation for your panels today!
Table of Contents
Solar Panel Orientation
Before getting into the best angle for solar panels, learning the importance of solar panel orientation is crucial. The orientation for your panels is the cardinal direction your panels face to collect sunlight. When installed on your home’s roof, your panels will face North, South, East, or West.
Most solar panel installations work off true direction rather than using the planet’s magnetic poles. True North aligns with the axis rather than the North Pole, so consider that when setting up your home’s solar panels.
North and South are the two most efficient directions to have your solar panels face for energy collection. East and West collect less solar energy for homes in the Northern Hemisphere. True South is the best solar panel direction for your home to collect more energy and enjoy an efficient system.
The best solar panel direction for homes south of the equator is the opposite. You’ll want to arrange your panels to face True North to collect more sunlight. The panels will get increased exposure to the Sun with the best orientation.
Solar Panel Angle
The solar panel angle is different from orientation because it’s based on the tilt of the panels. The slant you require depends on your geographic location and the seasons to determine the best setting for energy collection. You’ll want to use a higher angle as you move further from the equator.
States like Texas and Arizona get more sunlight because they’re further South. The Sun stays much higher in the sky for longer due to the geographic location of these states. This location allows the solar panel angle to be much lower to ensure that more sunlight gets collected.
Getting solar panels on a home in Maine or Michigan will result in using a much higher angle since the Sun spends less time higher in the sky. Knowing your location will do wonders for finding the best angle for solar panels.
You can use several methods when finding the best angle for solar panels at your home. Here’s a closer look at finding the optimal angle for energy collection and the importance of doing so.
You can use your zip code to determine the best angle for your home’s solar panels. It’s as simple as pulling up a Google tab and searching for the latitude of your zip code or home address. The ideal angle for your solar panels will equal the latitude of your zip code on the globe.
The challenge is accounting for the seasons and different times of the year. The Earth’s axis changes, and you need to change the tilt of your panels to account for that change to keep your solar system going.
A good rule of thumb is subtracting 15 degrees from your solar panel angle during the hotter months and adding 15 degrees during the cooler months. You’ll ensure that your panels get the most exposure to sunlight possible throughout the year.
A mistake that many homeowners with solar energy systems make when installing panels is the change of sunlight as the Earth continues its journey around the Sun. It’s normal for the Sun to spend much more time sitting high in the sky, making it an excellent season to collect energy for your system’s storage batteries.
The high Sun indicates that you must adjust your panels to the best energy-collection angle. It’s more work, but you’ll get more value from your solar panels if you tilt them to the best angle at the start of each season.
An issue you could encounter with your solar panels is the fixed angle the solar panel installation company sets your panels. You can read about solar here to better understand the installation process. Changing the angle of your panels is difficult if they’re set at a fixed angle upon installation.
Considering a solar panel system that tracks the Sun’s location and adjusts to collect more sunlight is worthwhile. Your panels will act like sunflowers and follow the Sun for maximum energy collection. You’ll need to spend some serious cash to get a system that tracks the Sun, but it will pay for itself over the years at your home.
Factors Impacting the Best Angle for Solar Panels
You’ll face various factors that impact the best angle for your home’s solar panel installation. Don’t overlook the angle of your home’s roof when installing panels, as this affects the angle of the panels and their ability to collect energy. Here’s a closer look at the key factors determining your home’s solar panel direction and angle.
The roof tilt is the first thing to look at when installing solar panels on your home’s roof. Each home’s roof is designed differently, so it’s best to work with an expert to determine the optimal angle for your home’s panel system. Account for the roof tilt and add the necessary degrees to the tilt to capture more sunlight.
Steep roofs are challenging since you’ll struggle to get your panels to the correct angle. It’s possible that lying your new solar panels flat against the roof is your best bet to collect sunlight. You can also consider installing your solar panels on brackets in the yard if your roof is too steep.
Low-angle roofs offer their own set of unique challenges for homeowners wanting solar energy. You’ll need to purchase special brackets for a low-angle roof to ensure the panels get ample exposure to the Sun. Avoid flush-mounting your solar panels to a low-angle roof, as you’ll spend more money and produce an inefficient solar system.
Accounting for your home’s latitude will also help if you want an efficient solar panel system. The best angle for solar panels will allow you to save more money on energy. It’s even possible to make money from the surplus energy your solar panels produce if you optimize the angle based on your home’s latitude.
The goal is to tilt your solar panels at an angle equal to your home’s latitude. You’ll get consistent long exposure to the Sun, collecting the power your system needs to run appliances and keep temperatures comfortable. The angle is often between 30 and 45 degrees when installing solar panels in North America.
Time of Year
The time of year also plays a major role in the best angle for solar panels. The Sun is naturally lower on the horizon during winter, making it essential to tilt your solar panels to a higher angle. A flat solar panel will struggle to bring in enough energy to keep your solar energy system online.
Tilt your panel to an angle greater than 45 degrees to capture the necessary energy from the Sun. It’s the perfect remedy to allow your panels to catch the decreased solar rays during winter.
Benefits of Purchasing Solar Panels
Now that you know how to work your solar panels and where to place them for greater efficiency, looking at the benefits you’ll gain from investing in renewable energy is worthwhile. From cutting your energy bills to saving the environment, switching to green living will have lasting ramifications for your family and community.
Here’s a closer look at some of the notable benefits of setting up a solar energy system.
Lower Utility Bills
It’s simple to save money on your utility bills when you install solar panels at the best angle on your roof. Your panels will collect enough energy to meet your power needs and provide backup power in storage batteries. This influx of energy allows you to save money on energy bills monthly.
Your solar panels could save you thousands of dollars each year, so your system pays for itself in several years. It’s the most cost-effective option to power your home, and it lowers your home’s carbon footprint.
Higher Home Value
Another notable benefit of investing in solar energy for your home is the impact it has on your home’s value. Your home will instantly increase in value the moment your solar system goes online for the first time. Prospective homeowners want to purchase homes that have solar systems in place as it’s cheaper than paying to install one themselves.
Homes with solar panels tend to sell for significantly more, making your solar panels an excellent investment no matter how long you live there. Expect your home’s value to rise by $15,000 when you install solar panels on your roof as an alternative to connecting to the electrical grid.
This value isn’t tied to geographical areas. You can still benefit from a higher home value with solar panels on a home in Maine. You can also count on your home selling faster than homes without solar energy systems near you.
Renewable Energy Source
Knowing that your home is reliant on finite resources that damage the Earth is daunting, but you can enjoy peace of mind when you invest in solar panels for your home. Renewable energy sources provide you with energy no matter what happens to the electrical grid. Your solar panels will power your home as long as the Sun continues to rise and burn bright.
The government is aware of the environmental benefits solar panels provide. They offer a significant tax credit for homeowners who purchase solar panels to power their homes. It’s your chance to get up to 30 percent off your investment into a renewable energy source, making your solar panel installation much more affordable.
Power At All Times
You can also trust your solar energy system to provide power when the grid goes out. Your lights will stay on, and your fridge will stay running when your neighbors are lighting candles and waiting for repairs to finish. This convenience makes a massive difference during ice and snow storms as well as times when the grid has a power outage.
It’s up to you to determine if you prefer a grid-connected system or an off-grid system. An off-grid system makes your home 100 percent reliant on solar panels for power, and you lose the ability to benefit from net metering. A grid-connected system allows you to sell your surplus energy, but you can’t power your home if the grid goes down.
Reduced Carbon Footprint
As mentioned earlier, placing your panels at the best solar panel angle will provide enough power to keep your household running indefinitely. It also reduces reliance on burning fossil fuels and damming rivers to provide power. You can rest assured that your solar panels are allowing Mother Nature to heal from the wounds caused by humans to power cities and homes nationwide.
Invest in Solar Panels for Your Home’s Roof in 2023
Purchasing solar panels and placing them at the best angle for solar panels is a guaranteed way to lower your energy bills and carbon footprint in one swoop. Use your home’s latitude to determine the best solar panel angle, and take your roof’s angle into account when installing your system. The direction is also important, with South-facing panels the most efficient for Northern Hemisphere homes.
Are you ready to add value to your home? Check out the rest of our blog for more entertaining lifestyle and technology articles today!
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